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2024/25 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

MECH5375M Surface Engineering and Coatings

15 creditsClass Size: 60

Module manager: Dr Liuquan Yang

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

Pre-requisite qualifications

Undergraduate degree in Physical or Engineering Sciences

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

The development of Surface Engineering and Advanced Coatings is a National Competency according to the Technology Strategy Board. Materials interact with the environment through the surface interactions. The appropriate surface technologies are vital for the added value of engineering products. This module will introduce surface technologies across different manufacturing sectors from mechanical, automotive, medical, space and aerospace applications. Surface engineering methods and the surface characterisation techniques will be introduced.


The aims of the module are to;
(i) Justify the need for surface engineering and demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of surface engineering and coating technologies.
(ii) Propose and justify the potential of surface engineering and coating technologies for the functionality of engineering products.
(iii) Analyse and evaluate surface solutions based on materials behaviour.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of the module students will have demonstrated the following learning outcomes :
1. Adapt and relate the key concepts of surface engineering and coatings to create engineering solutions.
2. Analyse and evaluate surface engineering problems.
3. Evaluate mechanical engineering designs with regards to different surface engineering and coating methods.
4. Describe the cutting edge and state of the art methods in the area of surface engineering and coatings research.
5. Propose the surface engineering and coating solutions to investigate new and emerging fields/industrial applications.

Upon successful completion of this module the following Engineering Council Accreditation of Higher Education Programmes (AHEP) learning outcome descriptors (fourth edition) are satisfied:
6. Apply a comprehensive knowledge of mathematics, statistics, natural science and engineering principles to the solution of complex problems. Much of the knowledge will be at the forefront of the particular subject of study and informed by a critical awareness of new developments and the wider context of engineering. (M1)
7. Formulate and analyse complex problems to reach substantiated conclusions. This will involve evaluating available data using first principles of mathematics, statistics, natural science and engineering principles, and using engineering judgment to work with information that may be uncertain or incomplete, discussing the limitations of the techniques employed. (M2)
8. Select and critically evaluate technical literature and other sources of information to solve complex problems. (M4)

Skills Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module students will have demonstrated the following skills:

Problem solving & analytical skills, Information Searching, Design for manufacture


1. Introduction to Surface Engineering and Coatings
2. Surface modifications techniques including heat treatment processes; diffusing principles
3. Surface texture technologies
4. Coating technologies 1: thin film depositions (PVD and CVD)
5. Coating technologies 2: spray coatings
6. Coating technologies 3: wet chemical processes including anodising, electroplating and light metal coating processes (PEO).
7. Advanced Surface characterisation techniques
8. Case studies in biomedical, space, aerospace, automotive/formula one, and mechanical engineering sectors based on surface modification techniques and coating technologies introduced.
9. Surface improvement techniques such as advanced polishing methods for metal additive manufactured components.
10. Focus topic 1 tribological applications
11. Focus topic 2 corrosion resistance applications
12. Focus topic 3 energy materials and surfaces (hydrogen, battery, and nuclear technologies)
13. Focus topic 4 energy harvesting
14. Focus topic 5 self healing coatings

Methods of Assessment

We are currently refreshing our modules to make sure students have the best possible experience. Full assessment details for this module are not available before the start of the academic year, at which time details of the assessment(s) will be provided.

Assessment for this module will consist of;

1 x Group report and a group presentation
1 x In-person closed book exam

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours115.00
Total Contact hours35.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

5 x Seminars with open discussion on surface technologies with moderator and external industrialists
Group assignment seminar presentation/report and feedback
Monitoring of Minerva/Teams discussion board/Weekly 1-hour drop-in office session during Term Time.

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 30/04/2024


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